EY Ireland outperforms UK when it comes to growth

15 October 2015 Consultancy.uk

EY Ireland has booked stellar growth over the past financial year, growing revenue by 14.3% to €190 million. Audit and Assurance lead the growth, on the back of increased demand for analytics and forensic solutions. Tax also increased above the global average, with demand in regulatory and compliance offerings pushing up revenue. The Irish arm of the firm has also invested in increasing its headcount, up 14.9% to 1728.

The Irish economy has had ups and downs in recent years. The crisis years saw its economy go through significant restructuring after signing up to a bailout package. More recently, the Irish economy has seen significant growth and its business sector has started to focus on technological developments and FinTech solutions.

Revenue growth EY Ireland

Recent years have seen professional services firm EY in Ireland book stellar results. Where the firm secured a small 9% increase in revenues in 2013, 2014 saw the firm increase revenues by 19.4% to €166 million. This year, revenue hit €190 million, an increase of 14.3%. The three year average of 13.5% places the firm above its Big Four rivals. The firm is placed third in Ireland overall, with the second largest audit and assurance practice. These growth figures further see the Irish EY contingent well above the UK’s increase of 8% to £2,010 billion and slightly above the global revenue increase of 11.6% to $28.7 billion.

EY’s Country Managing Partner, Mike McKerr, comments that: “Posting more than 33% growth in the last 2 years is a great achievement and even more pleasing that it’s all been organic growth creating 164 much needed new jobs last year alone in the Republic of Ireland. Our Global Vision 2020 strategy has enabled us to successfully focus on our growth and people agendas creating real momentum both inside and outside the organisation. It has helped us attract, retain and motivate our people allowing us to deliver exceptional client service, strengthening our client relationships, and capturing market share.”

Business practice
The Audit and Assurance line experienced the largest growth among the firm’s offerings in the country, up 15.6% to €131.7 million, well above the global average of 8.1%. The firm’s Data Analytics and Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services (FIDS) saw 40% increases – highlighting changes in demand. McKerr comments: “We had several fantastic audit wins in FY15, which reflects the significant investment made globally and locally to innovate our audit service through the use of analytical tools. Regulatory change will continue to alter the audit market for some years to come and we believe innovation and data analytics solutions will be in increasing demand.”

Headcount in Ireland

The firm’s Tax practice saw more modest growth at 10.7% to €33.4 million, slightly above the global average of 10.3%. The biggest driver for the increase has been demand from global increases in enforcement and compliance together with significant changes in tax policy in the domestic and international markets. “We will continue to invest in our tax practice over the next few years as tax is of particular importance to our entrepreneurs and multinationals alike,” says McKerr.

The firm’s TAS practice is also experiencing growth, on the back of improvements to the Irish business environment. Corporate transactions and their size are on the increase, while demand for the firm’s Fund Raising and Transaction Support services and Valuation and Business Modelling (VBM) are also said to be increasing.

The Advisory practice continues to focus on providing transformation advice to clients, with client costs and competitiveness at issue as digital challenges open up markets. The Performance Improvement (PI) division of Advisory, with a focus on business transformation, process improvement and IT change management services, has seen demand for its offering increase. PI now employs the majority of the Irish firm’s 130 consultants, working to “improving key business functions to achieve significant and sustainable improvement in enterprise-level performance,” according to McKerr.

Investing in people

Investing in people
The firm’s significant growth is for a large part due to its investment in talent. “Our success is about much more than financial results,” explains McKerr. “It is also about our people who enable us to deliver exceptional client service.” Following strong growth, the firm has invested in increasing its personnel, up 14.9% to 1728 people – including 210 recent graduates.

The professional services’ reliance on talent and knowledge for its turnover has seen the firm invest heavily in the further development of its people. It has added seven new partners while promoting or progressing 36% of its staff this year. The firm has also been awarded a number of awards for inclusion, including LGBT employer of the year.

Mike McKerr, EY

McKerr concludes: “We believe that by maintaining this momentum we will continue to retain and attract the best talent to serve our clients. Our global strength combined with deep local connections across our five offices continues to give us significant competitive advantage. The ability to collaborate and mobilise people internationally has given us something tangibly different in helping our multinational and entrepreneurial clients expand across borders.”

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PA Consulting results reveal record 14% revenue growth

17 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Global professional services firm PA Consulting has reported another year of strong growth, outpacing the global consulting market significantly over the duration of 2018. PA’s revenue boomed by 14%, passing £455.8 million over the course of the year.

Founded in 1943, by Englishmen Ernest Butten, Tom Kirkham and David Seymour, the firm once known as Personnel Administration has since gone on to become one of the largest consulting firms in the world. PA Consulting Group, as it is now known, has over 2,600 professionals and a global presence spanning 18 countries. While turnover took a decade to recover from a rocky spell after the global financial crisis, PA Consulting is now firmly on the upward incline.

PA has booked strong growth in recent years, following its securing of private equity investment from the Carlyle Group in 2015. While the first full year of results following that move were slightly muted, due in part to the altering of how PA measured its results, the decision has clearly paid dividends since. Revenues jumped by 6% in 2017, hitting an all-time high of £400 million in the process.

Annual consulting revenues of PA Consulting versus UK market

Now, in the latest chapter of the firm’s rapid turnaround, the innovation and transformation consultancy has revealed things only got better in 2018. A set of record results released in April have confirmed that fee income rocketed up by 14% over the course of the prior 12 months, hitting £455.8 million. Considering the UK’s consulting market saw growth slow for the second year running (just 5.6%), PA’s performance is even more pronounced, especially in its first year of full results since influential Chair Marcus Agius stood down. 

The firm is also outpacing the global consulting market. Analytics firm Statista estimates that the consulting market expanded by 4.08% in 2018. As a result of such bullish demand, PA Consulting has also bolstered its staffing, boosting its consulting team’s headcount by 10% in the space of 12 months. 

PA’s team was further strengthened with its continued acquisition campaign, which brought three new firms into the fold during 2018. Boston-based innovation company Essential Design, specialist digital service design firm We Are Friday and London-based digital insight and strategy consultancy Sparkler all became part of PA over the course of the year. PA has also announced plans to recruit 400 professionals for its new digital centre in Belfast. 

‘Not traditional’

In terms of client work, in the UK PA supported Skipping Rocks Lab to create an edible alternative to single use plastic drink packaging, and worked on a notable restructuring project at disability charity Scope. Further afield, PA helped Norwegian authorities deliver their citizen-facing digital services, while in the US and India, PA partnered with Virgin Hyperloop One to build the first new mode of transport in a century, one that hopes to revolutionise travel. It even worked with United Nations to identify the technologies most likely to contribute to the achievement of the organization's Sustainable Development Goals.

Commenting on the year’s performance, Alan Middleton, PA Consulting CEO, said, “We’re not a traditional consulting firm and we think this is key to our ongoing success and why 98% of our clients recommend us… Our people are strategists, technologists, digital experts, consultants, designers, scientists and engineers – all of whom bring real-world experience, and apply it at pace. We offer the innovation, design, digital and transformation skills that our clients need to change, fast. There’s a sense of optimism behind our purpose. And it’s a feeling that inspires our people as well as our clients.”

The existing staff of PA also enjoyed a bumper year, as it was revealed that a refinancing manoeuver at the firm was expected to land over 1,000 employee shareholders a significant pay-out. The firm’s debt, which includes vendor loan notes put in place when Carlyle purchased the firm, is set to be refinanced in a deal worth £350 million.